For what was ostensibly a one-woman show, there were many characters to fill the imagination. Excellent performances on video and voice over, as well as an off-stage live musician helped propel the story. Video clips were edited in a jagged, rough style that added to the intensity. Ms. Smith made acting with recorded voices (also her) look natural. Her timing was spot on. K. Butterfly Smith is an actress and playwright to watch out for. I believe Room No. 9 at the Chrysalis Inn only scratches the surface of her talents.
What I didn't like
At only 30 minutes, Room No. 9 at the Chrysalis Inn felt short. Perhaps the story could be fleshed out more in it’s next iteration. The use of the live action narrator seemed superfluous, but that may have been due to my inability to clearly hear his dialogue.
These are small quibbles.
My overall impression
Bravo! The show is an arresting portrayal of a woman on the brink, with the clash of good and evil memories playing a tug-of-war with her psyche. A deeply personal study of a person trying to break free of her past. Ms. Smith was as fragile as a dried leaf but held fast throughout. I cared so much for her. The villains of the show were brutal and fierce. The angels were funny, caring, real, and reminded me of people in my own life.
Room No. 9 at the Chrysalis Inn serves up tragedy and hope in equal helpings.